Thursday 22 February 2018

McGinley joins Monty's Ryder team

Karl MacGinty

PAUL McGINLEY will be unveiled as one of Colin Montgomerie's Ryder Cup vice-captains during a media briefing at the European Tour headquarters in Wentworth, Surrey, this morning.

McGinley, likely to be joined by Dane Thomas Bjorn on Montgomerie's back-room team at Celtic Manor in the autumn, is seen as a contender for European Ryder Cup captaincy in the future.

Yet the Dubliner's opportunity might arise far earlier than expected following media speculation Montgomerie (46) might consider stepping aside as he deals with issues in his private life.

Noting repeated references by the BBC commentary team at St Andrews to Montgomerie's demeanour at the Open, one of British golf's most influential writers weighed in on this issue in an English newspaper yesterday.

He wrote: "On TV they referred so often to Monty's off-course distractions and 'a man with something on his mind' that you'd have thought walking the plank and giving up the Ryder Cup captaincy might have crossed his mind."

That's pretty heavy stuff with Celtic Manor less than three months away. Should Montgomerie stun golf and decide to "walk the plank", as the writer suggests, the European Tour would have an obvious replacement in McGinley.

Just last month, Montgomerie admitted putting his marriage under "considerable strain" following reports that he cheated on his wife with a former girlfriend.

In a statement, Montgomerie said: "I have put my marriage under considerable strain but we are working through these problems. I am very sorry for the hurt I have caused to the ones I love so much.

"I would ask that my family and I are given the space and privacy to continue trying to resolve the issues."

Although McGinley's bid to play at the Ryder Cup in 2008 resulted in him stepping down from Nick Faldo's back-room team at Valhalla, the Dubliner underlined his talent for team captaincy at last September's Vivendi Trophy.

McGinley was praised by his players for the innovative role he played as he led a team of underdogs representing Britain and Ireland to victory over Bjorn's European side.

Irish Independent

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